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OPC'S EMBLEM USED IN SMUGGLING VEHICLES IN OGUN

By NBF News
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Abeokuta, Ogun State Customs Area Comptroller, Mr. Akande Bamidele, has lamented the use of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) emblem for smuggling activities in the border areas of the state.

Bamidele spoke against the backdrop of some vehicles carrying the insignia of office of the Yoruba cultural group that were recently impounded by officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

One of the impounded vehicles carried OPC's insignia of office in addition to a number plate with the inscription, 'Chief Apena Agbaiye of Ijebu-Ode.'

The smugglers also used charms and other dangerous weapons in their nefarious activities, an ugly development which the Customs officer said had led to the confiscation of four smuggled vehicles that broke into the convoy of the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun at Ajegunle, near the Idi-Iroko penultimate Friday.

Smugglers driving in about 30 'tokunbo vehicles'' forcefully broke into Amosun's convoy and almost caused accident in an attempt to escape arrest by Customs patrol officers pursuing them.

The governor had gone to Ipokia as part of his tour of local government councils in the state and was returning to Abeokuta, the state capital in the evening when the incident occurred.

One of the drivers, Mr. Omolegbe Toyosi is currently on admission at the Nigeria Customs Staff Clinic, Idiroko, where he is being treated for gunshot injuries he sustained on his right leg during the incident. Toyosi was said to have been hit by a bullet aimed at the tyre of his vehicle after he allegedly hit a Customs officer, Adeyemi Fatai, with one of the smuggled vehicles that broke into the governor's convoy. Addressing newsmen at the Customs Sentry in Idiroko, Akande said efforts were still on to recover the remaining smuggled vehicles involved in the incident.

Akande who displayed the recovered vehicles which included a Toyota Camry, a Golf 4, a Nissan Almeira and a Nissan Pathfinder SUV before newsmen said the arrested suspected smuggler, Toyosi, would soon be charged to court.

His words: 'We have apprehended four of the cars that intercepted the governor's convoy. There is the erroneous impression that they all escaped. One of the smugglers involved sustained gunshot injury in the leg and he's being treated. After treatment, he'll be charged to court. He also knocked down one of our officers.'